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  • For those 60+ and not Christian...

    Do you at times feel empty? Despite having a wonderful marriage for so many years, if at all. Please share
    My chocolatey Primal journey

    Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

  • #2
    Well, I'm 65 and there's not much wonderful about by marriage but no, I don't think I've ever felt empty if by that you mean lonely or unfulfilled. I'm by nature very happy and optimistic and always have a ton of fun and/or interesting projects in the works.

    Not sure what being non-Christian has to do with it. My beliefs would probably be called pagan but all organized religion repels me and always has. I suppose the kind of person who needed to be around people/family/community might feel odd with that outlook but I prefer, make that crave solitude, have no family (thank God and the gods!) and while I like my little remote, rural community I rarely participate in any of the social happenings aside from the occasional funeral to show respect.

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    • #3
      Well, I'm not old enough or married. But I can tell you I was told once that if I didn't have children my life would be empty. It is not.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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      • #4
        I'm not 60+, I'm 55. But I'm not Christian and I feel quite fulfilled--much more fulfilled than when I still followed a traditional religion. I felt more empty and confused when I still believed in "God".

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
          Well, I'm not old enough or married. But I can tell you I was told once that if I didn't have children my life would be empty. It is not.
          God, is that the most annoying thing or what? People often ask if I have grandchildren (wrongly assuming I had children) and when I say no the response is something like "Oh, how sad!" or "You don't know what you're missing!"

          Like hell - I have only to visit any public place and endure the out-of-control shreiking brats from all corners to know what I'm missing. Thanks, but no thanks; I'll stay in the child-free camp.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
            Do you at times feel empty? Despite having a wonderful marriage for so many years, if at all. Please share
            I'm almost 56, so not quite 60 . However, I think everyone feels empty, lost, unfulfilled, at a quandary, at some point in their life. I also think that a "sense of emptiness/unfulfillness/questioning" is a call for self awareness, reflection, and growth. IMO, depending on marriage or any other person to "fill you up" is a recipe for disaster.

            I also think those questioning feelings have nothing to do with whether you are Christian or not.I believe they have more to do with whether or not you are living a life that is meaningful and authentic for you.

            The more important issue, as I see it is, why did you pose the question?

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            • #7
              Did the OP ask anything about having children? Her question is about not being Christian, and referenced marriage, but didn't mention children.

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              • #8
                No, it wasn't about children, specifically, although it makes me wonder about marriage. I was just wondering how people who have found living in religion find their life fulfilling. I have always been at odds with my religion, since I am a scientist by nature, but I also value creative thought and philosophy.

                I feel that Christians are correlated with sheeple and not creative thinkers, and therefore are generally associated with negative things on this board. However, I feel that a combination of creative thought and religion could really be the best combination to a fulfilling life. I am thinking of when one hits 50 years old and is living with someone they thought was the love of their life, until they hit some sort of hardship, in which case the love slowly dwindled to a life partner (which I assume is the case for the large majority of relationships). How do you spend the next 30 years of life together?

                However, since this really is a Paleo forum, I would understand that most people are not Christian. And some would even argue against only 1 partner in life. I am just curious of people's opinions.
                My chocolatey Primal journey

                Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                • #9
                  And traditional philosophers prior to this century tended to be theists for a reason....I know that technology advances the cause of science and tangible things, but I think humans have a natural affinity to something deeper...thoughts?
                  My chocolatey Primal journey

                  Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
                    And traditional philosophers prior to this century tended to be theists for a reason....I know that technology advances the cause of science and tangible things, but I think humans have a natural affinity to something deeper...thoughts?
                    Agree (tho I betcha lots disagree with me) completely. I wouldn't want to live under a theocracy or anything close to it, but then again, I would be spiritually bereft if my life were purely secular. I have always explained to my kids that humans were hard-wired for spiritual pursuits, the particular choice of which will differ with the individual according to previous experience/personality/etc.
                    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                    • #11
                      Fascinating question. I have to come at it from an unusual angle. I'm 61 and felt empty for years. I had no belief in God, and figured that I just had to survive long enough for my daughters to get out of college and on with their lives. At that point, I would just continue to exist until my time was up.

                      Then, in January of this year, I met a woman through an incredibly unlikely sequence of events. We ended up falling in love, and are now engaged; we will be married next March. Not only was our meeting unlikely, but we are from such different backgrounds that it boggles the mind. I grew up in small town USA; she grew up in the Bronx. She is from a broken home; my parents were together until my father passed last year. She is 12 years younger than I am. She is black; I am white. No way we should be a perfect fit. But we are.

                      As I look back at it all, I can only think that we were guided. I'm sure it sounds strange, but I have come to think that God put us together. Yes, my faith has been restored, and it is wonderful.
                      Live your life and love your life. It's the only one you get.

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                      • #12
                        A little shy of your age parameter. Married twice, plus a couple of 7+ year live-in relationships; I'm basically a serial monogamist. And an atheist for about 30 years. No kids.

                        I'm not sure about empty, but sure, I've had times in my life where it seems that there wasn't much meaning in my life. I'm a bit of a loner. I was bookish as a kid. There was a period of time in high school when I hung with a group of six girls, but other than that, I usually have two or three close friends and other than that don't socialize much. Funny enough, I like city living because when I'm in the mood to cut loose, I can do it with strangers, get in a cab afterward, and not think about it again.

                        I like being coupled when I'm part of a couple, but I like being single also. What I don't like is when I feel lonely even in a relationship - that hurts, and that's usually when I figure out a way to extricate myself. Perhaps I'm too much of a romantic to stay once that happens.

                        I don't know if believing in a sentient creator has anything to do with it, but personally, I'm much more comfortable not believing in a creator that would let children suffer, would let disease ruin and shorten lives, etc. If I believed in such a creator, I'd probably be angry all the time.

                        To be perfectly honest with you, I've never personally seen a long marriage that I envied. I'm not saying they're not out there, just that I've never seen one.

                        So, sometimes life seems a little blah, but mostly it's fun or interesting. And since I've had periods of time when I was on my own, I know that if I'm bored or blue, I can change that. I just have to pack up the car and go.
                        "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                        B*tch-lite

                        Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                        • #13
                          I'm younger (45) and divorced after a 10 year relationship/marriage and have been with my current boyfriend about 3 years after having been friends for 13, so coming from a different place, but I've definitely been through multiple periods (including quite the existential crisis at the moment) of emptiness, or longing for something more/else. I'm also an atheist with no children. I think the thing about having children and/or a religion is that it gives you something to fill that empty space. People get "empty nest syndrome" because of a sudden loss of the distraction. If you never had that distraction then it can be brought on by something else, loss, upheaval, change in ones life of some sort, that makes you question your place in the universe. The first major incident I had was after I had gotten off drugs and had to face life head on, including who I had been for much of that life. This one seems to be triggered by my divorce (amicable, we're still friends), moving back to the states and finding someone that I love intensely, along with quite a bit of self realization.

                          The first time I was comforted by my own insignificance, as it allowed me to forgive myself. Unfortunately that approach isn't as effective these days. One thing that I've found is helpful is making things. There's something about the act of creation that helps remove you from mundane, even if it's simple, if you can throw yourself into the act it can be like a form of meditation. (Unless it goes wrong, then it's self flagellation.) Winter can be particularly difficult, as you're stuck inside for much of the time, so there's the lack of sunlight thing, but also much of what I do is done outside (gardening, working on furniture- I REALLY, REALLY want a workshop.) so I have much more time to dwell on what I would rather be doing. I've been able to come up with things to do, and we have two very active dogs that don't allow us too much rest, so that helps.

                          If you're having a really hard time of it, I saw the other post you made about feeling depressed, please find someone to help you. A good therapist is invaluable as long as you view them as a tool to be used and not a miracle worker. They've helped me save my life. Otherwise, a really good friend or trusted family member that will listen without judging is helpful.
                          Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
                            since I am a scientist by nature[...]

                            [...] in which case the love slowly dwindled to a life partner (which I assume is the case for the large majority of relationships).

                            [...] since this really is a Paleo forum, I would understand that most people are not Christian.
                            Why do you assume this? Or understand that? Seems contrary to your nature.

                            (Okay, I'm not over 60, and I don't know if I'm a Christian or not, but I had to see what this thread was about. Also, intrigued by OP asking people to share without doing so themselves first. Isn't that the typical arrangement?)

                            Along with Marcadav, I think everyone feels empty at times. And regardless of age, religion, marital status, it is up to the individual to fill or deal with their own particular emptiness.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
                              Do you at times feel empty? Despite having a wonderful marriage for so many years, if at all. Please share
                              Not 60+, not married. Neither do I attend worship at any church, although I'm not against it either.

                              This kind of makes an interesting pair with an earlier thread you started about happiness. I guess the Buddhists would see religion and the problem of happiness as connected.

                              This is interesting, too:

                              I have always been at odds with my religion, since I am a scientist by nature
                              I think some people like to portray "science" as being at odds with "religion". I'm not convinced it is -- which I guess you were saying, too. I think science gives a particular view onto the world -- like looking through one window of a building. It's valid as far as it goes, but it's not the only view. Can't poetry, for example, tell us something about the world?

                              Science can't give you a complete view, because it knows nothing of consciousness, which is a pretty big hole ... and some of the attempts to fudge this one are pretty embarrassing and tend to revolve around pretty basic misconceptions.

                              The show-stopper is that our scientific understanding seems to imply a world ruled by causality. But if everything has a cause (as opposed to a reason), where does that leave human freedom, the possibility of moral choice, and most of the conceptions that we use in our dealings with our fellows every day (whatever our religious beliefs or lack of them)?

                              I don't think you can think your way out of these problems. I suppose even Kant didn't. All I think you can do is look at different pictures of the world and draw out all the implications and make up your mind about what best fits the world as you experience it. I think one of the best arguments for the theistic case is probably A. J. Balfour's Gifford lectures:

                              Theism and Humanism : The Book that Influenced C. S. Lewis: Arthur James Balfour, Michael W. Perry, C. S. Lewis, Arthur J. Balfour: 9781587420054: Amazon.com: Books

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